What is a travel influencer? First off, an influencer is a person who posts regularly on social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Youtube and has a large online following presence. A travel influencer is someone who travels around the world and shares their journey online.
Over the past few years, there’s been an increase of influencers pursuing it as a full-time job. Nowadays, 82% of travelers follow blogs and influencers on social media. Hotels have long hosted travel influencers to enjoy their facilities and services in exchange for advertising. Your vacation rental could also benefit from additional marketing.
Why collaborate with travel influencers?
How does this deal work? As a vacation rental owner, you invite a travel influencer to stay at your property, giving them the same experience you would offer to all your other guests, and in exchange, they will market your home in the following ways:
1. Higher Visibility
78% of influencers use Instagram as their primary social media platform. Influencers have the power to reach hundreds and even thousands of people just through a post or story. This doesn’t just include reaching those who are currently searching for accommodation in the area of your vacation rental. Your rental will be seen by travelers who are unsure on where to go on holiday, and also by users who don’t plan to go on vacation but suddenly feel the urge to do so. A travel influencer will influence their followers to travel and go on vacation. They’ll reach more people than you ever imagined within a short amount of time.
2. Trusted recommendations
You are already aware of how important reviews are for your vacation rental’s reputation. Many guests may not consider staying in a place that doesn’t have any reviews and a negative review that can deter guests from booking. As influencers tend to share all aspects of their lives online, their followers know that what they see is real and genuine. Your future guests will no longer doubt reviews from strangers, rather, confide in the influencer they trust and feel reassured in staying in your rental.
A travel influencer knows the ins and outs of the hospitality industry. They’ve visited and stayed in hundreds of places. They will give your vacation rental credibility, as they themselves have credibility evidenced by their high amount of followers. Overall they will improve your rental’s reputation online.
You can always pay for advertisement Facebook or Google Ads, but many are sick and tired of seeing advertising everywhere. The honest opinion of someone who has actually tried the product or service is actually more valuable and trustworthy.
3. Sell the Experience
Travel Influencers aren’t selling a product, they are selling an experience. The experience you offer to all your guests when they stay at your property. Guests want to know how it truly is to stay in your vacation rental, and influencers can provide them with that information. An influencer can showcase what guests will feel and enjoy if they book your property, whether it being through an Instagram story or video, or photos posted on Facebook. Ever heard of FOMO? Fear of missing out? Well, that’s exactly how a guest will feel when they see their favorite influencer staying in your vacation rental, knowing they can do the same.
Whilst still keeping up the hard work on your website, listings, and blogs, guests need to give see the reality through the eyes of someone who has actually stayed there and not just what the host is advertising.
4. Professional advertising
Influencers specialize in promoting not only themselves but their surroundings. They have the latest technical knowledge, know how to do photoshoots, record, and edit high-quality videos. They can even use drones, which have become increasingly popular over the past few years. They’re experts at creating content meaning they’ll do a good job in promoting your vacation rental, which may not be as expensive as hiring a marketing professional.
You can display this content on your website and listings, and also if you have an Instagram and Facebook page. Anyone that visits your sites will be able to see the real adventure in staying in your vacation rental.
How to reach out to travel influencers
When travel influencers initially emerged, the majority were offered a free stay in a hotel in exchange for advertising. However, nowadays they post not to get freebies but because they want people to see the real world, the authentic way of traveling. In order to collaborate accordingly, and get the right type of marketing for your business, you need to consider a couple of things.
What do you want to achieve when you invite a travel influencer to stay in your vacation rental? Promote your area? Show off your home? Advertise the amenities on display? Talk about the great breakfast service you offer? Or everything in general?
Make a campaign: have a list of objectives you want them to carry out during their stay. Discuss this with the influencer beforehand and come up with a plan of action. You will also have to decide what type of stay you are going to offer, for how many days, at what time of the year. And finally, consider how you will measure the success rate, e.g. how many likes the post got, how many inquiries you got on your website.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT INFLUENCER
Research the various social media sites influencers use. Are they posting images, videos or blogs? What one will best suit your business? Look at their audience age group, purchasing power, interests, and decide if they’re right for you. See how active they are online and how often they post.
And last but not least, analyze. What kind of trips do they go on? If they tend to stay in luxury villas and you have a family property, they may not be the best choice. However, if they are wellness and fitness travelers and you’re five minutes away from a yoga retreat, then they would be your no.1 choice.
If you’re still not sure which influencer is right for your vacation rental business, there are many tools and websites that can help you, such as Binfluencer, whose aim is to connect influencers with entrepreneurs.
Now that you know what travel influencers can bring to your business, all you have to do is approach them with clear objectives. Reach out to all those travelers who are eager to discover you and promote your vacation rental in a completely new way!